Mobile Advertising: Much Still Needs to Be Done

There’s an incredible amount of hype and anticipation among marketers and the mobile industry in general around ad revenue projections and the anticipated size of the mobile TV/video market. This mostly bullish BusinessWeek article does a nice job of assessing the state of mobile marketing.

But, in reality, mobile is still years away. Most people don’t want to pay for video (notwithstanding Apple’s success to date) and don’t even want advertising on their cellphones. Until the user experience is worked out, there isn’t going to be massive mainstream usage of mobile for much more than voice and SMS.

That’s not to say there isn’t money to be made and users are totally immune to advertising on their mobile phones. But it must be presented to them in ways that are relevant, offer value, and are consistent with their needs and interests. Again, this goes to the overall user experience.

I’ll be very curious what the panelists on the "Mobile Ads That Work Today" panel (3/28 at Drilling Down) have to say about their models, their learnings and their projections.

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Related: Miva conducted a test involving 500 mobile phone users in the UK with "pay-per-text" ads on SMS/text messages. The test was in conjunction with Britain’s leading directory assistance service, 118 118. Callers to the service who opted to receive the desired number via text also saw a contextually relevant ad as part of the message (after the desired number). Here are the (relatively impressive) results:

  • Nearly 60% of respondents who were sent the message recalled it, and 14% of these people used the additional number.
  • 93% of users said they would like to receive an additional number in future.
  • 75% of respondents said that they could see clear benefits in the service.
  • Just over 80% of respondents were also interested in an enhanced offer (such as a discount on goods or services) and the majority said that even if they didn’t use it immediately, they would do at some point.
  • Half also said they would think about sending the information on to family and friends.

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